Cheshire Great Sessions: damaged documents
THE RAVAGES OF TIME
Bearing in mind that these records are 300 to 400 years old, most of them are in remarkably good condition. But sometimes, frequently because of poor storage conditions at some point in the past, they have suffered damage. Paper documents in particular (parchment is tougher, which is why it was generally used for the more official documents such as indictments) may have got torn (they can become especially fragile along folds), or have begun to to disintegrate, even become mouldy and rotted away. Ink can fade to the point of illegibility, although in such cases the original writing can often still be read under special lamps. These are just a few examples.
PRO CHES 24/127/1: Depositions, 1648